John Dilks reported in the August 2013 edition of QST on his opportunity of a lifetime when he received a call from a friend saying that the producers of the film Paranoia needed some really convincing vintage tube radios as props. John is the author of the monthly "Vintage Radio" column in the ARRL's flagship publication, and owns a huge collection of exactly the type of equipment being sought. Paranoia is a saga starring Harrison Ford and Liam Hemsworth. Per IMDB, "An entry-level employee at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss's old mentor to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage." John, his son, and friend Nick England worked with the 'prop master' Michael Jortner to select the requisite radios and then went to the filming location in Philadelphia ('The City of Brotherly Love Shove' ) to set up and operate the radios. One preferred feature was a radio with "exposed glowing tubes" (just for the effect). In lieu of that, the stage technicians settled for rigging a 100 W light bulb inside to light up the chassis. Radios and peripherals used were the Hallicrafters SX-23, and SX-42, a National NC-190, a Silver-Marshall 730 "Round the World Four," a Shure carbon ring microphone, and a Morse code key. John says they were told not to talk to the stars, but Harrison Ford (a licensed helicopter pilot, BTW, but not a Ham other than onstage) took it upon himself to spend a few moments thanking them for their assistance.
Fortunately, even those of you who do not subscribe to the magazine can read this "Hollywood Meets Hallicrafters" article thanks to an online PDF version provided (not sure how, legally) by OHIOLINK.
Information on the radios from the RadioMuseum.org website:
Hallicrafters Skyrider SX-23
Hallicrafters SX-42 Receiver
National NC-190 Receiver
Silver-Marshall 730 "Round the World Four"
Posted September 29, 2013